PLTS Likupang, the Largest Solar Panel in Indonesia

(Photo: Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources)

North Minahasa, MINA – A total of 64,620 solar panels are neatly arranged in Wineru Village, Likupang Timur District, North Minahasa Regency, North Sulawesi Province. Thousands of solar panels are stretched over fields covering 29 hectares.

The presence of a sun-catching device has been used by Vena Energy as a new source of electrical energy since September 5, 2019.

Country Head Vena Energy Arisudono Soerono explained the average daily Likupang Solar Power Plant (PLTS) distributed electricity reaching 15 MW despite having an installed capacity of 21 Mega Watt Peak (MWp).

“The operating are 12 hours, starting at 05.30 a.m in the morning until the sun can get 15 MW, if not, then it will decrease. If it rains, it can enter 3 MW. That is until 17.30 p.m. “Ari said at the Likupang PLTS location, as stated in the press statement of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, which was quoted by MINA on Saturday, March 14.

With the total installed capacity, Ari assesses the PLUP Likupang to be the largest PLTS in Indonesia to date and as a support for the electricity system of the State Electricity Company (PLN) of Sulutgo (North Sulawesi-Gorontalo) of 15 MWp.

“This is the largest (PLTS) in Indonesia before the Floating PLTS in Cirata later,” he explained.

Furthermore, Ari explained the ability to convert from a voltage of 800 Volt DC to 380 Volt AC resulted in losses (shrinkage) of 6 MW. After that, the Likupang PLTS electricity production system is directly connected online with PLN’s electricity network.

“This generator is online grid, every kWh we produce, we send it directly to PLN online without battery storage,” Ari said.

He made sure, although not all day electricity was generated, but in terms of prices far below the price of electricity using fuel or Diesel Power Plants (PLTD).

“What is clearly below the price of PLTD, is much cheaper,” he said.

Likupang PLTS itself has been built since the late 2017 Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and takes around 1.5 years with a total investment cost of USD29.2 million.

The plant has 120 arry boxes, 24 sets of inverters and 6 PV boxes. “The power purchase and sale contract lasts for 20 years with the Built, Own, Operate, Transfer (BOOT) scheme,” Ari said.

During the peak of construction activities, Likupang PLTS has been able to absorb up to 900 local workers. Meanwhile, when operating, 80% of the workers are the surrounding community.

During operation, the plant is able to electrify up to 15,000 households and reduce the greenhouse gas effect by 20.01 kilo tons.

Vena Energy is an independent power producer (IPP) company that focuses on developing solar and wind power plants.

In addition to Likupang PLTS, Vena is also a private electricity producer for the Tolo wind power plant (PLTB) in Jeneponto with a capacity of 72 MW and 3 PLTS in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara with a capacity of 7 MWp each.

Expansion Opportunities

The success of operating the Likupang PLTS has pushed Vena Energy to open options for expansion in a number of its projects in Indonesia while awaiting PLN’s decision.

“It depends on the readiness of PLN because we have to follow the General Plan for Electric Power Supply (RUPTL) but if we are very ready,” said Ari.

Vena Energy, he continued has been invited by PLN to take part in PLTS tenders in 3 locations on the island of Java (West Java, Central Java and East Java).

“We have been invited by PLN and have entered the Request for Proposal (RFP) in Java with a capacity of 150 MWp,” concluded Ari.

Based on data from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the potential for PLTS development reached 207.8 GWp with a realization of 0.15 GWp. Specifically for the North Sulawesi region the potential for existing solar power reaches 2.1 GWp. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)